Israel's Antiquities Police?
June 7, 2011 3:50 PM   Subscribe

Is there a special branch of the Israeli police that specializes in investigating antiquities theft or artifact smuggling?

I imagine that there has to be some unit that specializes in such cases, seeing how there are so many items of historic interest that are illegally bought and sold on the black market.

I know about the Israeli Antiquities Authority-- but I'm less interested in bureaucratic committees, than in police or military-based groups that work for the government in order to recover artifacts and persecute smugglers. If they do exist, what are they called?

Thanks!
posted by egeanin to Law & Government (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
The IAA.
posted by fire&wings at 3:58 PM on June 7, 2011


Sorry - didn't read fully. I don't see why there would be a specialised unit to do what is essentially basic police work.
posted by fire&wings at 4:05 PM on June 7, 2011


Sorry - didn't read fully. I don't see why there would be a specialised unit to do what is essentially basic police work.

Because most police officers can tell the difference between a Ford and Chevy engine...but not between a Vermeer and fake Vermeer.

LAPD has one, and you may want to contact them as they probably work worldwide with other associated agencies.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:18 PM on June 7, 2011


Best answer: The IAA has an enforcement section dealing with the prevention and recovery of stolen artifacts.

What I really find curious is that Israel is not a signatory to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.
posted by holterbarbour at 5:27 PM on June 7, 2011


Here's the link to the IAA enforcement section in English.
posted by holterbarbour at 5:44 PM on June 7, 2011


Response by poster: Holterbarbour: unfortunately the English link doesn't seem to have any info in it, whereas the Hebrew link has a long paragraph.
posted by egeanin at 10:28 AM on June 8, 2011


Google Translate works very well with Hebrew, and renders a good translation of the page.
posted by holterbarbour at 5:20 PM on June 9, 2011


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